New No. 2?
ITB: Birds Could Be Seeking New Cost-Efficient, High-End Backup QB
A roster shakeup is expected for the reigning NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles, who have key players on both sides of the ball poised to enter free agency.
On the latest “Inside The Birds” podcast, Adam Caplan and Geoff Mosher provided updates on the team’s defensive coordinator search and reviewed the offense entering the offseason.
Geoff Mosher: “What we know is a lot of these first interviews that are done, whether it’s the Vance Josephs of the world, or the Sean Desais, or the college names, these are Zoom interviews, as we understand it, and then the list will get whittled down. Over the weekend, you would imagine they will start doing follow-ups or second interviews.”
Adam Caplan: “A coaching agent told me that his understanding was that most, if not all, were on Zoom…We were told Vance Joseph did Zoom with (Nick) Sirianni, (Howie) Roseman, and Jeffery Lurie on Tuesday. I wouldn’t say Lurie’s involved, but he’s sitting in. Sean Desai was also this week…They’re casting a wide net.”
Mosher: “If Gardner Minshew leaves the Eagles, it leaves them with Jalen Hurts and Ian Book under contract, which means to me they will probably look for another economical high end number two quarterback.”
Caplan: “There are like 20 veteran quarterbacks, journeyman-type, that they can bring in. They love Ian Book, super athletic, smart, high character guy, but I don’t know if he’s ready to be number two…The kinds of guys that would fit in this offense: Andy Dalton, for sure. I do like Mike White a lot. I would absolutely sign Cooper Rush in a heartbeat.”
Mosher: “I just wonder if the Eagles learned a lesson. When Minshew came in there, they ran the same offense, but there was no zone-read element. Even though Minshew can move around the pocket well, he’s not really a guy that’s super athletic. I think Mike White is probably a better athlete. I wonder if they would want to target someone who’s a little bit younger and has enough athleticism to keep a defense honest with a run to the edges.”
Caplan: “He was basically a two-down back, and that kills your value. As well as he played, you look at the snap counts and go he’s not a $12-15 million-a-year contract guy.”
Mosher: “I did not realize until looking at the snap counts the other day that he only played 57% of the offensive snaps. Credit to him on having such a productive year on little usage, but he is not a three-down back. If he wants to come back, he has to understand he’s a one- to two-down back and he’s going to get paid like one, which is not a whole lot.”
Caplan: “They’ll bring him to training camp, but if Zach Pascal doesn’t come back, they must upgrade over Watkins at the number three. He’s just a four, that’s all he is. He regressed this season. I get that he was hurt, he just did not come up big. He has to work on his ball tracking, it’s just not good enough.”
Caplan: If Isaac Seumalo leaves and (Jason) Kelce comes back, it’s Cam Jurgens at right guard, most likely. Sua Opeta’s back, but they just don’t have any depth at guard right now. They need two guards as we look at their team needs, whether it’s two in the draft or veterans. (Jack) Driscoll can play guard, but our understanding is they like him better as a tackle. He’s just not quite strong enough to be a guard.”
Mosher: “Even if it’s just a practice squad veteran guy, they’ve done a good job of having good backup interior linemen. They need that. (Andre) Dillard will probably leave in free agency as well and he was playing left guard when needed.”
Caplan: “They retained Fred Johnson who can play left tackle and guard. He’s a big guy, 6’7, who’s played both in the NFL. I’m not saying he’s that guy, but he could be.”
– Benjamin Paul is a staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.
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